Kuwait Petroleum International, also known by the trademark Q8, refines and markets fuels, lubricants and other petroleum derivatives outside of Kuwait, to several countries worldwide, particularly across Europe and the Middle East. Established in 1983, Q8 is the international subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, which brings together all the state owned elements of the Kuwait oil sector, and is recognised as one of the world’s top ten energy conglomerates.
Q8 offers a direct sales operation, and has a European network of over 4,400 serviced fuel stations extending across Italy, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden. Q8 also offers a network of 24-hour unmanned fuel stations, which operate under several guises: F24, Tango and Q8 Easy.
Q8 has several key strategic objectives, including to develop and strengthen existing business, and to grow significantly by expanding marketing initiatives and refining activities in new markets.
One of the key challenges is to drive footfall to both their branded service stations and unmanned fuel stations, increasing loyalty with existing customers and raising awareness to new audiences.
André Op de Weegh, Marketing Communications Advisor, was tasked with developing a mobile strategy that utilised existing mobile applications for all four brands, and helped to drive traffic and increase sales for the fuel stations. Q8 decided the most efficient way to drive traffic to fuel stations was to develop the existing framework of mobile apps by integrating Google Maps for Business. The integration of a mapping solution would allow the mobile app to direct those in need of fuel to the nearest fuel stations, and would equip them with GPS to navigate to the desired location.
Op de Weegh explains the decision to use Google Maps for Business. “We were initially using the standard Google Maps API on our Tango app, which catered for the chain of unmanned fuel stations in the Netherlands. We found that the number of maps requests that the Tango app was receiving exceeded the licences available on the standard API, and so therefore we made the decision to move to the Enterprise solution.”
Google Maps was the preferred solution provider from the start due to its popularity in the consumer market, and Q8 found it to be the best and most accurate mapping solution compared to others, and easy to integrate on iOS and Android.
Q8 had a desire to increase usage of the apps and therefore needed to scale to an Enterprise level version of Google Maps, which would allow them the functionality they desired. Using Google Maps for Work, Q8 were able to tailor the offering to only provide driving directions to fuel stations, and also took advantage of many other features, such as inserting branded pins to highlight their fuel stations on the map, and removing any noise from other points of interest or competitors.
By utilising Google Maps for Work, this also offered Q8 a whole host of other benefits, such as technical support, SLAs, free reporting and control over advertising.
In the first 4 weeks since the Google Maps for Work solution was rolled out across all four of the mobile apps, Q8 have seen over 20,000 maps requests by users. The Tango app, which had initially been using the standard Google Maps API, and already had a strong user base of 3,000, received a further 1,000 users within the 4 weeks of updating the app to the Google Maps for Work API.
In total, across all four mobile apps, new users exceeded 2,500 in the first 4 weeks, receiving an average increase of 20% in users across each app. Q8 hope to see these promising figures continue, and aim to double the number of users across each app within the year.
Q8 are looking to further their use of Google Maps for Work, and will be integrating Google Maps as part of their website re-design which is currently in process.